I always try to write about things I have encountered or have been. Fallen angels is one of those subjects. Fallen angels is a term I use to describe people that have fallen from grace in our judgmental eyes. So, in the broader sense, it could be someone like Peter. He’s all ride or die for Jesus, until the cock crowed three times. At that moment in time, Peter is a fallen angel. Someone rolling with Jesus could have looked up to Peter, because that was Jesus’ boy. So, when Peter denies Jesus…well the person looking up to Peter could be spiritually shook. But, what Peter did doesn’t have a thing to do with them. Beyond what the trial might present for them.
When I was younger, I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. The hierarchy in the local Kingdom Hall culminates with the elder. Now, as a teenager, I would look at these brothers like they were straight up saints. I simply could not fathom that one could sin, let alone do something out of line with God’s instructions….That is until I saw one get disfellowshipped…followed by another…and yet another…My child brain could not wrap around the fact that people who yielded authority over God’s flock could sin. One elder went to prison for embezzling money from a widow. One elder a child molester. One elder cheated on his wife. Watching brother after brother, some who had even sat on tribunals regarding me, get disfellowshipped messed me up. I was spiritually disillusioned.
Sadly, this was not the only time I would become spiritually disillusioned…as I continue down my spiritual road, I frequently become and pass by fallen angels. I would surprise even myself sometimes and have to realize that yep, girl you’ve fallen get your stuff together. I served for approximately a year as the Sister Captain. I was properly relieved for medical reasons. After I was properly relieved, I didn’t want no parts of responsibility and I acted accordingly. The sister who served as the lieutenant under my charge felt the entire weight of the post upon my departure and I let her. (I have since apologized to this sister and pray for her forgiveness.) I didn’t want the responsibility of covering up properly, so I didn’t. It was all about sundresses and no scarves. I had fallen. It wasn’t the first, nor last time I would fall. I don’t know if my fall affected anyone (in regard to spiritual disillusion), and pray for forgiveness if it did, but once I realized I had fallen, it certainly effected me and the way I think and interact with people.
You see this is the thing, none of us has reached that perfection that we would love to have. No, not one. The only perfection we have reached is that of judging one another. LOL The reasons why we join religions, churches, mosques or whatever we do are all our own. Some join because of the feelings that a particular lecture might inspire, some may join because it give them purpose, others because they feel a sense of belonging and family. Some see how the brothers treat the sisters or vice versa. Some are born into the religion. While others believe the truth of what is being taught and decided to dedicate their lives to what they believe.
However, while in the ranks of the spiritual family, we may start to look at the people in front of us as infallible. We may even venture into polytheism. This is where the problem lies and when people become fallen angels. We begin looking at people as though they are, well, angels, but in a spooky sense. We take what they say as Divine revelation…and it probably is. We think they are an example worthy of emulation…and they probably are. But, what we fail to remember is that what we are seeing is the God in them…they are not The God and neither are we. They are not worthy of worship and neither are we. More than likely they aren’t even aware that you viewed them in this manner.
What’s sad is that whatever they have done that we consider a sin does not take away from the good that they have accomplished. Dr. King’s infidelities do not make him a horrible man who didn’t do a damn thing…no, it merely makes him a flawed, yet great man. Yeah, it was wack, but it is undeniable the work that he accomplished. Not to mention that we have no idea why God sometimes allows things to happen. In Surah 18 of the Quran, we read of Moses traveling with a wise man. Moses was so busy judging dude that he missed out on many opportunities to expand his knowledge. Minister Farrakhan says it’s unwise to judge someone in transition. I know it’s cliche, but everything in my life has happened for a reason. Every painful experience had something for me to learn from it. I just pray I learned so I won’t have to repeat them.
Please don’t think I’m giving the “fallen” a pass…nah, I just think vengeance is the Lord’s. I don’t know why it hurts so much when we see people we thought were spiritual giants fall. People sin. In fact the bible says in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” So, we really should not be surprised when it happens. Maybe its because we attach their seeming perfection to our thoughts of our own ability and when they don’t succeed we don’t think we can either. I don’t know.
But, I do know why we have to fall. One is that there is something the fallen must learn and the other is that God is a jealous God and He doesn’t want our motivation for worship to be shared with anyone. Our personal relationship with God is what needs to be our primary focus. So, when people fall, I think it’s a test for us who say we love God, to see where our heads at…where our allegiance lies. Will we let this fall affect our relationship with God? Sometimes we even use their “fall” as a reason why we don’t go out or don’t join a particular community. Bottom line is that at the end of the day, we are responsible to God, as we see Him. Our relationship with God is what we must nurture and protect, not some illusion of perfection in someone who has the same ability to connect to God as we do. There is nothing wrong with admiring people, but all that we see in someone else we can easily find in ourselves if we would but submit.